We are lucky to have so many wonderful sponsors and exhibitors at this year’s DesignOps Summit–and we thought you might like to get to know them better! We’ll be asking all of them some questions in the coming weeks that get at the heart of why they’re passionate about DesignOps, what it’s like to work with them, and what makes their products and services special.

First up: Scott Welliver, Design Advocate at Abstract






Rosenfeld Media: Why are you sponsoring this year’s DesignOps Summit?

Scott Welliver: Abstract + DesignOps = Confident and efficient design teams.

To unpack that equation, DesignOps leaders leverage Abstract to:

  • Onboard new designers effortlessly
  • Set up and maintain design environments (including design systems!)
  • Act as a system of record for all thinking surrounding design decisions

Because Abstract acts as the single source of truth for your team’s design files, brand-new team members can safely poke around in fellow designers’ work. By reading Commit histories and bouncing from Branch to Branch, new designers can immerse themselves in how work is done on your team.

Setting up design environments is one-and-done with Abstract. After linking libraries and importing files, your designers are free to, well, design. Check out how Microsoft uses Abstract.

Finally, DesignOps leaders are often the gatekeepers of why certain design decisions were made. Rather than trying to develop superhuman memory, DesignOps can lean on Abstract as the place where all decisions are documented. No more guessing or digging through old chat threads.

For more about how DesignOps leaders use Abstract, check out the DesignOps content on our blog.

Rosenfeld Media: What excites you about Design and/or Research Operations?

Scott Welliver: DesignOps is more than a fad. As I see it, DesignOps helps designers sustain the pace of building products with scale and efficiency. One of our co-founders once told me,“Design has a lot of workarounds, but not a lot of workflows.”

Abstract is that workflow we need.

At the end of the day, we’re designers: We focus on loving a problem so much that we’re compelled to solve it. When we turn that energy inward through DesignOps, we’re investing in a more mature and rational way of working with ourselves.

Rosenfeld Media: What is it like for Design and Research Operations people to work at your company/organization?

Scott Welliver: At my past company, our approach to DesignOps was always evolving. The concept grew organically— when the pain of staying the same outweighed the pain of change, then we changed.

At Abstract, we’re focused on understanding the pain points that designers, DesignOps folks, and everyone on their team face every day. We use Abstract to do our work, so we’re living and breathing our product. And many of the designers at Abstract formerly worked for other companies that used Abstract. We have a unique company culture in that the majority of our team works remotely, and diversity and inclusion are values that run through our veins.

I’m personally excited for the future of, not just DesignOps tools, but the ultimate effect the investment in DesignOps will have on our customers.A recent quote by Mike Monteiro continues to motivate me: “When someone gets to spend an extra hour with their kid or with their dog or with their family, or sitting alone with a book, or at a show, or whatever, because of something you did? That’s when you’re getting better as a designer.”

Rosenfeld Media: What is your company culture like, who would they work with, and who are the champions?

Scott Welliver: Abstract stays true to its mission:“To dramatically improve the productivity, transparency, and impact of design.” We do that through our values: “Kind humans, willing and curious, working together deliberately, to earn the love of our customers.”

I’m so proud to be part of a company where we take on challenges as opportunities.

Rosenfeld Media: What types of value and benefits do you/your product bring to the practice and our community?

Scott Welliver: Abstract saves lives.

…that’s stretching it. But, Abstract may slow your hair graying.

Joking aside, Abstract can be a game-changer for DesignOps leaders. This is what we’ve heard from our customers. When we asked Zendesk, “What would you do if Abstract didn’t exist?” they said,“If Abstract didn’t exist, I would cry super ugly tears.”

That’s because Abstract eases and amplifies the work of DesignOps leaders. You do your job once and move on. When you’re no longer fighting your tools, you’re free to focus on solving the problems your team is tackling.

Rosenfeld Media: What else should our community know about you?

Scott Welliver: Our product is a reflection of our culture.Abstract captures the power of collaboration in product form, replacing silos with transparent systems that make life (and work) better for designers.

Abstract, as a product and as a team, is about including a wide range of ideas and voices so we can build something remarkable.